AUTUMN STATEMENT: National Living Wage rises by 30p an hour

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced in his Autumn Statement that the National Living Wage will rise from £7.20 per hour to £7.50 per hour.

This means that over £1,400 a year more for a full-time worker previously on the National Minimum Wage.

The first annual increase in the National Living Wage, which was introduced in April at £7.20 an hour for workers aged 25 and over, brings it closer to the Government’s 2020 target of £9 an hour, but leaves it well below the independently-calculated Living Wage of £8.45 across the UK and £9.75 in London.

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Reacting to the news, Helen Dickinson, CEO of the British Retail Consortium said: “It is positive that the Chancellor has listened to an independent Low Pay Commission with his decision today to introduce a sensible increase to the National Living Wage from £7.20 to £7.50 per hour.

“The retail industry supports the NLW, which is why many retailers go above and beyond the legal requirement by paying it to staff aged under 25, as well as older colleagues.”

Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry commented: “Businesses want to see a rising minimum wage that protects the low paid, but increases must also be sustainable for employers if we are to avoid damage to job prospects for lower skilled workers.

“By accepting the recommendation of the independent Low Pay Commission today, the Chancellor has shown he also supports this balance. In the face of economic uncertainty, relying on the expert guidance of the LPC is the right call – and we welcome the Commission’s statement that it will continue to be guided by performance on jobs, alongside any political targets, in setting the rate.”

Hammond also announced that the National Minimum Wage will increase:

  • for 21 to 24 year olds – from £6.95 per hour to £7.05
  • for 18 to 20 year olds – from £5.55 per hour to £5.60
  • for 16 to 17 year olds – from £4.00 per hour to £4.05
  • for apprentices – from £3.40 per hour to £3.50

And £4.3 million will be spent on helping small businesses to understand the rules and cracking down on employers who are breaking the law by not paying the minimum wage.

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